ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association today announced 28 National Finalist teams selected to compete at the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition as the culminating event of the seventh season of the nation's largest youth cyber defense competition. Finalists will travel all-expenses-paid to Washington, DC, March 11-15, 2015, to compete for the title of National Champion, scholarships, and other recognition.
The thirteen Open Division, twelve All Service Division and three Middle School Division National Finalist teams advanced through extremely competitive online qualifying rounds to earn the distinction of being National Finalists. They represent schools and other organizations from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Manitoba, Canada.
For a detailed list of National Finalists, click here.
CyberPatriot VII began in October 2014 with more than 2,100 teams made up of from two to six students registered from all 50 states, Canada, and DoD dependent schools in Europe and the Pacific. After two months of rigorous online challenges, the Open Division and All Service Division teams were divided into three tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver. The teams continued to compete within their tiers for State Awards and advancement to the Regional/Category Round, but only teams in the Platinum tier, the top tier, were eligible to advance to National Finals Competition from the Regional/Category Round earlier this month.
"All CyberPatriot VII Competitors should be exceptionally proud of themselves. Our program experienced a forty percent increase in total registrations in 2014, making this year's competition the most challenging yet," said Bernie Skoch, AFA's CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "This year's National Finals will host previous finalists as well as schools brand new to the competition. We are pleased that our program is exciting young people about STEM education and preparing cyber defenders for a workforce that is in dire need of the skills they are developing in CyberPatriot."
The CyberPatriot VII National Finals Competition will be held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Teams will compete to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team. The National Finalists will also face-off in four additional competition components: the Digital Cyber Crime Scene Challenge from the Digital Forensic Consortium, the Cisco Networking Challenge, the Leidos Digital Forensics Challenge, and a Mobile Application Challenge hosted by AT&T. These extra challenges expose teams to new elements and skillsets of the many career opportunities available to them.
CyberPatriot greatly expanded its reach in recent years with the introduction of the Middle School Division to competition in 2013, the development and successful piloting of the AFA CyberCamp program last summer, which will be available nationwide this spring, and the creation of the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative anticipated to launch later this year. CyberPatriot also partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK and Northrop Grumman to extend the competition to the United Kingdom this year under the name CyberCenturion.
CyberPatriot, an education initiative established by the Air Force Association and presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, is a one-of-a-kind cyber defense competition designed to inspire students toward futures in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Other program sponsors include Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, USA Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold sponsors Facebook, URS, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and University of Maryland University College.
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.
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SOURCE Air Force Association